GEOMAR Study on Phytoplankton Reveals Potential for Adaptation to Ocean Acidification | POGO

GEOMAR Study on Phytoplankton Reveals Potential for Adaptation to Ocean Acidification

Scientists of the Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel (GEOMAR) conducted a one year CO2 selection experiment using the calcifying microalgae Emiliania huxleyi and uncovered an enormous potential for adaptation to rapidly changing environments in this important phytoplankton species. After 500 generations under controlled CO2 conditions adapted cultures grew and calcified significantly better compared non-adapted control cultures when tested under ocean acidification conditions. These findings show for the first time that evolutionary adaptation may help to mitigate harmful effects of ocean acidification. Still, this is not an all-clear signal for ocean acidification. The results are published in the current issue of Nature Geoscience. See attachment for full press release.
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